What is the Old Hag?

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Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night, unable to move, unable to make a sound, with a cold chill going down your spine? In that moment, have you seen something, or had the terrifying feeling that you weren’t alone? Almost as if there was something, or someone looming in the shadows, while you were paralyzed; unable to do anything.

Most Newfoundlanders are very familiar with this terrifying phenomena. Whether they’ve experienced it themselves or they’ve heard the tale from a friend, the Old Hag is a common supernatural experience.

The Old Hag is experienced by each person differently. My nan explained her experience to me as a woman with long dark hair pinning her down, preventing her from being able to move her limbs, and not being able to scream. While others have explained it to me as seeing a figure standing either in their doorway or at the foot of the bed, and being paralyzed with fear while being unable to yell out for help.

The experience of the Old Hag is by far one of the scarier supernatural experiences related to local lore because anyone can experience it, anywhere. It’s something you’re unable to escape.

Those who don’t believe in the supernatural claim the Old Hag is nothing more than sleep paralysis. This is defined as the inability to move or speak that happens while you’re in the process of waking up or falling asleep. This experience can form itself in many different ways and can certainly be frightening to those who experience. But, is the Old Hag simply just sleep paralysis? Or is there truly a supernatural being behind the night terrors? Should you ever experience the Old Hag, let us know what you believe.

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